5/28/14 Donner Lake Kokanee

Donner Lake Kokanee
We started at 6:00 AM and headed over by the Loch Leven Lodge where we found some good schools of Kokanee on Sunday. They were gone! We searched that area and only marked a few fish. The wind was already starting to blow. We went ahead and dropped the rigs down to 35′ where we were marking a few fish. We managed to get our two clients limits of Kokanee in this area but it was not the same kind of action we had Sunday. I had planned to fish for Mackinaw later today, however, the with the wind getting stronger every minute I decided against it. Our Kokanee were caught on Sep’s Watermelon Dodger with a RMT Assassin Spinner and Pautzke Fire Cured Corn. The best depth was 35 to 40 feet. We did release two fish that were about the size of the dodger. The Kokanee we kept averaged 12″.

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5/26/14 Stampede Kokanee

We hit the water in search of Stampede Kokanee at 6:00 AM and started just off the rock pile. We marked very few Kokanee in that area. We worked our way towards the Island until we found a couple nice schools of Kokanee. We started off working the deeper Kokanee (45′ to 60′) without a touch. I brought one line up the the shallower fish at 30 feet and we immediately hooked up. We continued to work both these depths and finally started hooking the deeper ones as well. The deeper fish seemed to me a little bigger and heavier but for some reason didn’t have much fight compared to the shallower fish. The Kokanee we caught today were 13 to 14″ and a little heavier than the ones we have been getting.

5/25/14 Donner Lake Kokanee

I had the day open and needed to check out Donner Lake Kokanee  for the first time this year. I took two of my granddaughters Brooke and Charlotte along. We launched a little after 6:00 AM. I went straight across the lake and started trolling. I wasn’t marking any fish as we worked our way up the lake. We moved over in front of Loch Leven Lodge where there was a couple other boats working. We started marking nice schools of fish at 35” and 55’.  It wasn’t long before we started hooking Kokanee at 35’. We couldn’t get the fish at 55’ to hit anything. The girls had two limits of Kokanee and back on the Trailer at 8:30 AM. Our Donner Lake Kokanee were caught on Sep’s Side Kick’s and 4/0 Dodgers both in Watermelon color and a RMT Assassin spinner tipped with Pautzke Fire Corn. The fish we caught today were about the same size as Stampede Kokanee, they averaged 12”.  Donner is in great shape, plenty of water and no issues launching.

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Brooke Kennedy and Charlotte Brown from Grass Valley


5/22/14 Stampede Kokanee

When I left Grass Valley at 3:45 AM this morning it was clear and warm. When I got to the summit it was raining. You can never tell what the weather will be on the other side of the summit. After putting on the rain gear we headed out in search of the schools of Stampede Kokanee. The big school I had been working for the last couple weeks had moved, we didn’t go far before we found another school in front of the Island. We started hooking Kokanee at 25 to 30 feet deep. The action wasn’t as fast as it had been but given the fact the wind was blowing making it hard to keep trolling speed at the right spot and the dark clouds and barometer doing who knows what…we did good. We had three limits of Kokanee cleaned and bagged within a couple hours. The tackle we were using was a Sep’s Watermelon Dodger with a Green and Pink RMT Assassin spinner and a Dick Night Pink Splatter Dodger with the same spinner were the best today. Our corn was Shoepeg Corn cured with Pautzke Fire Cure. The fish today averaged 12 to 13 inches. They were not big but fat good eating Kokanee.


5/16/14 Stampede Kokanee Fishing

Today we head to Stampede Kokanee Fishing. We launched at 6:00 AM and headed towards the Island. We dropped two lines down to 30’ and one top line. Within a couple minutes we had fish on. By 8:15 AM we had 14 Kokanee up to 13” and one Rainbow in the box and lost another eight or so. The best depth today was 26’ to 35’, we did get a few on the top line as well. Sep’s Watermelon Dodger and a RMT Assassin spinner tipped with pink Pautzke Fire Corn was the hot set up today. Launching wasn’t a problem. They have cleaned up the ramp and it helped a lot. You will still be launching in the mud but it’s better than it was last week. I was able to launch without four-wheel drive today.

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5/3/14 Stampede Reservoir

We fished Stampede Reservoir. today for the first time in over a month. We started at 6:00 AM and decided to make a pass or two for Mackinaw before targeting Kokanee. It wasn’t long before the wind started and the forecast called for some pretty strong wind later in the day.  We figured we better go load up on some Kokanee before the wind got too bad.  As soon as we dropped our gear in we started hooking up.  We spent most of our time right in front of the island in about 60’ of water.  We ran two lines on downriggers behind Shark Cannonballs and one top line straight off the back of the boat. We hooked fish from the surface to 45’ deep. We ran three different set ups and they all did well.  Our set ups were a Sep’s Strike Master (watermelon color) with a Uncle Larry’s Pink Tiger, a Sep’s 4/0 Watermelon Dodger with a Uncle Larry’s Pink Tiger and the third was a Dick Night Pink Dodger and a RMT Assassin spinner on the top line. We used Abu Garcia 4600 reels loaded with 6# Trilene. Everything was tipped with Shoepeg Corn that I cured with pink Pautzke Fire Cure.  The bite was as good as it gets. We landed 18 Kokanee between 6:30 AM and 8:37 AM and lost more than we landed. It was a fast and crazy bite. I even caught 3 for myself to take home for dinner. These Kokanee went big; the average fish size today was 12” but fat and clean fish.

Launching is not a problem, however, I recommend four wheel drive if your boat is very heavy. The water is down far enough that all four of your tires will likely be in the mud. I had no issues launching today.

Left to right, Biff Brethour, Anthony Dukes and Garry Dukes all of Cool.

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3/21/14 Stampede Reservoir Kokanee

We launched at 7:00 AM (a little later than planned) and headed straight across from the ramp and started targeting Mackinaw. We fished for Mack’s for a couple hours without a touch. We noticed Kokanee breaking on the surface all morning, I threw out a top line with a dodger and spinner. It wasn’t long before we hooked two Kokanee landing one.  As we got close to the island I marked some nice schools of Kokanee at 30 to 50 feet deep. We rigged up two Kokanee rods and dropped one to 25’ and the other to 50’. Both rods hooked up. We ended up fishing this school for a half hour or so and putting a nice bunch of Kokanee in the box.  We found another nice school off the point by the dam. We caught our Kokanee on Sep’s Watermelon Strike Master Dodgers and a pink Uncle Larry’s spinner. As far as corn, we didn’t have any! I had stripped my boat so they could use it in a show last week and forgot to put any back in. I did have some Berkley Power Grubs so I cut them in chunks and used that as corn. The Kokanee we caught on the surface were only about 10” and the deeper ones were up to 12”. That’s small but it’s early. The surface temp on Stampede today was 43 degrees.  Launching is no problem; unfortunately there is no snow anywhere around the lake.


8/28/13 Lake Tahoe

Over three months ago we booked a fishing trip for a Vietnam Veteran’s Group having a reunion in Lake Tahoe. We had enough anglers to fill two boats, we got Bryan Roccucci of Big Daddy’s Guide Service to help us out. Unfortunately, there has been a couple of fires, the American Fire and the Rim Fire, so Lake Tahoe was very smokey. We gave the men the option to cancel but they were troopers and still wanted to fish.
We launch out of Cave Rock at 6 AM and headed towards Camp Richardson. The Kokanee were down between 90 and 110 feet, we used a variety of Dodgers and Spinners and Shoepeg corn cured with Pautzke’s Fire Cure. A few Kokes were already starting to turn red. Despite the smokey conditions it turned out to be a great day, the wind came up and we were just a couple fish shy of our limits for everyone.





8/11/13 Stampede Kokanee

We had a group of three today in search of Stampede Kokanee. I elected to start down by the dam based on the previous days results. The fish were stacked in the area but man did they have lockjaw. We picked up a fish every now and then, but it was anything but red-hot. It seemed like everyone I talked to had the same results. After a couple hours we moved back over between the island and the rock pile and started picking up some fish that were sitting right on the bottom in 55 to 60 feet of water. My Chrome Shark Cannonballs now have a beat-up nose but that’s what we had to do to get our fish. The fish we got off the bottom were a little nicer fish. We sent our clients home with one short of limits. The set up of choice was once again the Sep’s Gold Starlight Dodger and an Uncle Larry’s Pink Spinner. We also caught a couple on a Pink/Silver Fish Flash with the same Spinner and Corn was Pautzke Can-O-Corn with some Smelly Jelly Sticky Shrimp scent added in. The lake level is dropping quite a bit everyday and the water was 3 degrees colder this morning.  I’m guessing that’s what has the fish scattered and the bite not too consistent.  Taking Monday off and back up to Stampede and Tahoe starting Tuesday…

8/10/13 Stampede Kokanee

We started off this morning on Stampede in the same area using the same set ups as previous days, however, it didn’t take long to find out things have changed again. If you have been following our reports from Stampede, you will see that over the last few days things have been changing quickly. Today, we caught fish from 21 feet to 65 feet and everyplace in between, no consistency in color, depth or tackle. We had four clients that wanted to call it a day by 10:30 as they had other plans. When we called it quits we had 10 kokanee in the box. We hooked most of those fish around the island. After dropping the clients off, I picked up my wife and three of my granddaughters. The kids hooked and landed 5 Kokanee in no time in front of the dam. We found fish stacked up over in the corner of the dam and also at the snag (a place in the Davies Creek arm Ted Samford named years ago). The fish over at the dam seemed a little bigger and fatter than the others. We also talked to a few other boats and most had the same results. Our best set up was a Sep’s Gold Starlight dodger with an Uncle Larry’s Pink Tiger and a small Pink and Silver Fish Flash also with the same Uncle Larry’s Spinner all tipped with Pautzke Fire Cured Corn behind Shark Cannonballs. For tomorrows trip, I think we will start out by the dam to see what happens. It was much colder this morning, as the boat seats had frost on them. Things are changing in the high country!

Pictured L to R

Charlotte Brown, Brooke Kennedy and Ella Brown

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